Nico Rosberg has won the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix in an extreme show of dominance from the German who survived a red flag and several Safety Car stints to keep the lead from lights to flag, having grabbed his third consecutive pole position.
Jules Bianchi was off to a bad start. Having pulled over in the opening seconds of Qualifying yesterday, he failed to make it off the grid for the parade lap. Nico Rosberg led the remaining 21 drivers around as Bianchi was pushed back for a pitlane start.
Two minutes later the grid formed up, the lights went on, the lights went off and they all charged forwards. Surprisingly, the drivers managed to make their way safely through the first corner including a particularly reserved through Saint Devote. Giedo van der Garde was in the wars at the hairpin as he made contact with Pastor Maldonado and lost a front wing.
The top eight consisted of Rosberg, Hamilton, Vettel, Webber, Raikkonen, Alonso, Perez, Button as the Hamilton began to hold up the Red Bull’s behind him. The yellow flag came out at turn 10 for debris while the McLarens were in the wars, Sergio Perez forcing Button towards the barrier before cutting the Nouvelle chicane. Several corners later, he attempted the same, forcing Jenson towards the barrier and cutting the swimming pool chicane. Perez’s recklessness wasn’t anywhere near finished.
Yellow flags came back out again, this time as Charles Pic was parked on the pit entrance with a fiery Caterham. The Frenchman was out of the car in no time as smoke-filled up the Rascasse section.
The next fifteen laps or so resulted in all but one overtake as Paul di Resta made a nice move on Felipe Massa into Saint Devote. Several laps later, the Brazilian repeated the bizarre incident which took him out of Qualifying. He locked his brakes in the run up to Turn 1 and hit the barrier, sliding sideways into the TecPro barrier across the track. He climbed out of the car but a Safety Car was deployed as the Medical Car was needed. Dr. Ian Roberts got his first race appearance as he attached a neck brace to the Brazilian who was complaining of shoulder problems after his shunt on Saturday. Several laps later the Mercedes left turn 1 to take Felipe to hospital for a check up, and allowed the Safety Car to come in and let the racing resume.
Nico Rosberg caught Sebastian Vettel sleeping on the restart as he darted away from his countryman while third placed Mark Webber was left defending hard against the other Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton. Further down the grid, Sergio Perez saw a gap into the Nouvelle Chicane and stuck his nose up the inside of Jenson Button. It was a cheeky move but it paid off. However, this successful overtake would prove disastrous for Perez as the race progressed.
Jules Bianchi was suddenly shown limping back to the pits with a truly mangled front wing and a red flag was thrown. It seemed a bit extreme for front wing damage until Pastor Maldonado’s utterly destroyed William’s was shown in the barriers at Tabac. Replays explained that Max Chilton moved across the Venezuelan which caused the William’s front wing to buckle and fall under the car which launched the front of the car upwards and into the TecPro barriers. Bianchi subsequently hit the barriers which caused the damage to his front wing.
Thirty-five minutes later the race restarted under Safety Car conditions, as per usual for a red flag. After one lap the Mercedes came in the pits which allowed Rosberg to again charge away from Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull as Hamilton launched another attack on Webber for third. Race control also announced that Max Chilton was awarded a drive through penalty for causing the William’s aerial display.
Sergio Perez, having earlier tried a similar, failed, overtake on Fernando Alonso, stuck his McLaren up the inside of Kimi Raikkonen at the Nouvelle Chicane. By stuck, I mean he pretty much drove straight on and forced the Finn to cut the corner to prevent a collision. Kimi blasted the Mexican on the radio, saying “That idiot was tried to hit me, tried to ruin my race”.
Adrian Sutil caught Fernando Alonso sleeping a few laps later to pull off a spectacular overtake at the hairpin while Jules Bianchi stuck his Marussia in the barrier at Saint Devote. It was a very light collision in comparison to Massa’s shunt but it ruled Bianchi out of the race – an end to an awful weekend for the Frenchman. With two of the French racers out of the race, two remained – until Romain Grosjean was involved in a huge crash with Daniel Ricciardo. In the run down to the Nouvelle Chicane, again, Ricciardo seemed to break early and Grosjean was sent straight onto the rear wing of the Toro Rosso. Ricciardo retired on the spot while Grosjean pitted, rejoined and returned to the pits where Lotus retired the car.
The Safety Car was back out for this incident and pitted with 12 laps of the race remaining. Sergio Perez was straight over the back of Raikkonen and attempted an overtake on the Finn. Not long after his first attempt failed, his second attempt failed too. He stuck his nose up the inside of the Lotus as Kimi turned into the chicane and gave the 2007 World Champion a puncture. Next lap, Perez swerved at the same spot as if trying to make an overtake on an invisible car and went straight on. He got wide at Rascasse several corners later before turning into the escape road to retire the car, presumably nursing damage from his careless driving.
With Perez out-of-the-way, the surviving cars raced to the end of the race as “Rosberg became the first Rosberg to win the Monaco Grand Prix since Rosberg” as one Twitter used put it. Indeed, Nico Rosberg followed his father’s example, leading from lights to flag to secure the win ahead of Sebastian Vettel in second and Mark Webber third.
- Nico Rosberg
- Sebastian Vettel
- Mark Webber
- Lewis Hamilton
- Adrian Sutil
- Jenson Button
- Fernando Alonso
- Jean-Eric Vergne
- Paul di Resta
- Kimi Raikkonen
- Nico Hulkenberg
- Valtteri Bottas
- Esteban Gutierrez
- Max Chilton
- Giedo van der Garde
- Sergio Perez
- Romain Grosjean
- Daniel Ricciardo
- Jules Bianchi
- Pastor Maldonado
- Felipe Massa
- Charles Pic